Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 Law and Legal Definition

Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 was signed into law by President George Bush. The purpose of the act is to sanction the ruling Burmese military junta, to strengthen Burma's democratic forces and support and recognize the National League of Democracy as the legitimate representative of the Burmese people, and for other purposes.

The Act directs that until Burma has met the conditions specified in this Act, beginning 30 days after this Act is enacted, the President shall ban the importation of any product of Burma, unless he exercises his specified waiver authority. It directs that, within 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall ensure that any United States financial institution holding funds belonging to the State Peace and Development Council (the “SPDC”) or assets of individuals with senior positions in the SPDC or its political arm, the Union Solidarity Development Association, shall promptly report those funds or assets to the Office of Foreign Assets Control. The President may take such action as may be necessary to impose a sanctions regime to freeze such funds or assets.

It further directs the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct each appropriate international financial institution in which the United States participates to oppose financial or technical assistance to Burma until the conditions specified in the Act are met. The Act authorizes the President to deny visas and entry to the former and present leadership of the SPDC or the Union Solidarity Development Association. Congress encourages the Secretary of State to encourage other states to restrict financial resources to the SPDC and Burmese companies while offering political recognition and support to Burma’s democratic movement. The President is authorized to use all available resources to assist Burmese democracy activists dedicated to nonviolent opposition to the regime in their efforts to promote freedom, democracy, and human rights in Burma.